About The Periyar Tiger Reserve
Periyar Tiger Reserve is a popular tourist destination in South Kerala. It is located near Thekkady, Idukki. It is a picturesque park which offers boating, rafting, trekking, jeep ride through the forest, and the eye-catching views of nature.
The tiger reserve is a protected area which covers an area of 925 square kilometres. 305 square kilometres of the area is declared as Periyar National Park in 1982. It is an elephant reserve too. The park houses various kinds of rare flora and fauna. The major rivers of Kerala, Periyar and Pampa originate from the forest in the reserve.
A tour to Periyar Tiger Reserve assures you a glance of the wildlife especially, deer, sambar, bison, gaur, elephants and rarely tiger. As there are these many kinds of species existing, nature lovers and bird watchers prefer this place to spend their quality time.
Periyar Tiger Reserve is a forest full of grasslands, eucalyptus, lake and river ecosystems. There are hundreds of flowering plants, 171 species of grass, 140 species of orchids. The trees are teak, rosewoods, terminalias, sandalwoods, jacarandas, mangoes, jamun, tamarind, banyans, sacred fig, plumerias, bamboos and so on. Many kinds of medicinal trees grow inside the park. Also, the park is surrounded by the plantations of tea, cardamom, and coffee.
There are 35 species of mammals, 266 species of birds, 45 species of reptiles, amphibians, 40 species of fish, and 160 butterfly taxa found in the park. As it is a tiger reserve, 24 Bengal tigers were counted in 2008. Other mammals are gaur, sambar, wild pig, Indian giant squirrel, Nilgiri Thar etc.
Things To Do In the Park
Periyar Tiger Reserve is waiting for the tourists who love to do the most enthusiastic things. There are plenty of fascinating things to do here. (You can check the timings at the end). They are as follows:
Boating in the reservoir is one of the most interesting things to do in the reserve. It offers the views of animals bathing, drinking, searching for food. The passengers can make use of this time watching beautiful birds if you are a birdwatcher. You will be the luckiest person if you get a glimpse of a tiger.
Border hiking is another attraction of the tiger reserve. Daily two groups of 10 hikers are taken to the dense forest followed by 2 guides and an armed forest guard for this one-day long hiking programme. You can spot some of the wild animals and birds during trekking.
Jungle night patrol is an adventurous thing to do in the tiger reserve. Each night a maximum of two teams of 5-8 patrollers can go for a late night patrol. Each team is followed by 2 guides and an armed forest guard. It will be a lifetime experience to explore the silent night forest and to spot the rare animals.
Bamboo Rafting along the lake allows you to explore the beauty of the dense forest. You can sit on a bamboo raft and enjoy the tranquillity of the untouched nature to refresh your mind and body. It is a three-hour ride with an armed guard and 4 guides.
Jeep Safari is an adventurous ride through the lush green jungle. It starts quite early in the morning to get a fresh view of the forest. It covers thick forest, waterfalls, spice plantation etc. You could get a glance of the wildlife inside the forest.
Nature Walk and Tribal Walk take the tourists to the views of the flora and fauna that exist in the forest. Also, the guides take you to the tribal village and you can watch the special tribes and their life, culture and their rituals.
Best Time To Visit
The temperature changes from 15°Celsius to 31°Celsius according to the different seasons. The best time to visit the Tiger Reserve is from October to May. It will be a suitable time to spot the wild animals and to enjoy the other activities.
Timings – 0600 hrs to 1700 hrs
The opening hours of the park: from 6:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Time of departure of boat safari: 7:30 am, 9:30 am, 11:30 am, 2:00 pm, and 4:00 pm.
Border hiking: 8:00 am to late evening.
Jungle night patrol: 10:00 pm to 4:00 am.
Bamboo rafting: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Jeep safari: 6:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Nature walk: 7:00 am to 10:00 am, 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
Tribal walk: 8:00 am to 10:00 am, 10:00 am to 12 noon, 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
Indian tourists: Rs. 25 per person
Foreign tourists: Rs. 300 per person
Children (5 to 11 years): Rs. 5
foreign child: Rs. 105
Still camera: Rs. 100
Video camera: Rs. 250
Light Motor Vehicle: Rs. 50
Heavy Vehicles: Rs. 200
Two Wheelers: Rs. 25
Ticket Rates for the activities in the Park
Boating: Rs. 150
boating for children (5 to 11 years): Rs. 50
Trekking cum Rafting Programm: Rs. 750 per head
Tribal walk: Rs. 100 per head
Nature walk: Rs. 500 per head
Night patrol: Rs. 1250 per 2 person
How To Reach There
The nearest airport: Madurai Airport in Tamilnadu, about 130 km away from Periyar Tiger Reserve.
The nearest railway station: Kottayam Railway Station, about 114 km away.